Wine, Ahh Glorious Wine – So Many Bottles, So Little Time

The driving is done, camp is set up…now its time to gather friends round the table to enjoy the setting sun over a refreshing glass of wine and make a toast to another good day.

Living full time in an RV is viewed by some as being less than sophisticated, but we that do live the lifestyle know that its the freedom, the many acquaintances we meet along the way who become lifelong friends, and the ease with which we get to live that makes us among the most blessed, and a glass of wine just makes it all the sweeter.

“Drinking good wine with good food in good company is one of life’s most civilized pleasures”

–Michael Broadbent

There are many varieties, flavors and colors of wine available today…from the inexpensive to the over-the-top only-to-be-collected-and-bragged-about wines for your wine collection. And who amongst us hasn’t been to the grocery store to shop for dinner and meandered down the wine aisle and found an interesting looking label on a bottle of wine that you just had to bring along to complement your meal.

Interesting Wine Trivia

There are 20 million acres of grape vines planted world wide.
Grapes are #1 of all fruit crops planted, and #1 in acreage.
There are 10,000 varieties of wine grapes world wide.
(Wow…that’s a lot of potential wine.)

There is at least one commercial winery in all 50 US states, with California, New York and Florida the top 3 states in wine consumption. Where are you camped tonight? There are approximately 847 wineries in California, 232 are in Napa. In 2000, Americans spent $20 billion on wine, 72% was spent on California wine.

A Little Wine History

The history of wine spans thousands of years and is closely intertwined with the history of agriculture, cuisine, civilization and humanity itself. Archeological evidence suggests that the earliest known production of wine, made by fermenting grapes, was in the region known as Mesopotamia as early as 6,000 BC. This area is known today as Georgia and Iran. Evidence of the earliest European wine production has been uncovered at archeological sites in Macedonia dated to 6,500 years ago.

In Egypt, wine became part of recorded history, playing an important role in ancient ceremonial life. Traces of wild wine dating from the second and first millennium BC have also been found in China.

Little is actually known of the early history of wine, but it is plausible that early foragers and farmers made alcoholic beverages from wild fruits and wild grapes. Exactly where wine was first made is still unclear. It could have been anywhere in the vast region stretching from North Africa to Central/South Asia where wild grapes grow.

Much modern wine culture derives from the practices of the ancient Greeks. While the exact arrival of wine in the Greek Territory is unknown, many of the grapes are grown there exclusively and are similar or identical to grapes grown in ancient times.

The Roman Empire had an enormous impact on the development of viticulture. Wine was an integral part of the Roman diet and wine making became a precise business. Virtually all of the major wine producing regions in Western Europe today were established by the Romans.

Grapes and wheat were first brought to what is now Latin America by Spanish Conquistadors to provide the necessities for the Catholic Mass. Planted at Spanish missions, one grape variety came to be known as Mission Grapes, and is still planted today in small amounts. Succeeding waves of immigrants imported French, Italian and German grapes, although wine from grapes native to the Americas is also produced.

Wine in the Americas is most closely associated with Argentina, California and Chile, all of which produce a wide variety of wines from inexpensive jug wines to high-quality varieties and proprietary blends. Until the latter half of the 20th century, American wine was generally looked upon as inferior to European product, it was not until the surprising American showing at the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976 that New World wine began to gain respect in the lands of wine’s origins. Best wine tours willamette valley

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